Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Counting On...

Today especially I need this post. My heart is broken for a family dear to me and having time to sit and count our blessings is imperative. So... here's my count to 1000 gifts this week..

41. I'm extremely thankful and blessed to have known the precious lady from our church who passed this week. She was an inspiration to her family and to all who knew her. I only got a short time with her but in that short time, she showed how to live with faith, joy and live every moment to it's fullest.

42. I'm thankful for a wonderful church family that God has so richly given us.

43. I'm thankful for a great group of friends surrounding my son. He's got a wonderful group to turn to and it's amazing watching them all grow together.

44. I'm glad that some of the big events I was planning have passed. Now maybe things can calm down.

45. I'm thankful for time with family and for the laughter that is sure to ring out.

46. I'm thankful for being able to learn in all sorts of ways apart from strictly book work.

47. For the piles of laundry that I need to work on. The piles that never seem to disappear and reappear just as soon as I finished them.

48. The toys around the house and on the counter and on my desk and in the tub.

49. The loud noises and crazy contraptions that my son builds.

50. My amazing, wonderful, talented and patient hubby. He's awesome and such a blessing to us.

So what are you thankful for? What blessings can you count and share with us?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hydracentials Slim And Sporty 16 oz. Bottle

Photo Credit:
Purchase on Amazon
A while back I shared about the awesome new water bottle I got the chance to review. You can check out that review by clicking here

Well recently we got the chance to review the smaller 16 oz size Hydracentials Slim and Sporty Bottle. The opinions are the same. We love it!!!

This newer smaller bottle is perfect for my sons smaller hands. It goes everywhere with us. I mean everywhere. To the park. To church. Shopping. Picnics. Homeschool field trips. Cub Scouts. Everywhere. We leave the house and it goes too. 

My son loves the bottle because he has cold water no matter what the temperature is outside. He can know that he's got something to drink no matter where we are. When the running around makes him hot, he's got a cool drink on hand at all times.

I love it because I know it is durable and trustworthy. These cups can go wherever you do and your drink is going to stay cold. With the double insulated wall, the ice and liquid stay just the temperature you want them. I have forgotten to empty it out and still had ice and cold liquid over 24 hours later. 

This bottle is only made to be used with cold liquids. You can take it to the gym, the park anywhere you need it to go with you. Simply snap it to your backpack as you take a hike and have fresh cold water with you. 

Here's the comparison between my larger 25 0z one and this slimmer smaller version.

Believe me when I say, they are totally worth you going to Amazon right now and buying one, or both. This version runs for around $22.00 plus shipping.

I have to share that while I try to take very good care of these bottles, we did have a slip and it hit the concrete. I'll say other metal bottles I've had were immediately dented and didn't function quite right if it slipped. THIS ONE, was totally different. No dents and still works great. Now I don't want you going around dropping and throwing the bottle around, but for the accidental drop, it is standing up to the test.

So don't just take my word for it, head on over and see for yourselves! You can purchase this on Amazon and see what others had to say too!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Review - Field Trips, Games and Candy Corn...

**Be sure to enter the giveaway I have going on now. It's open until Sunday!**

I'm linking up this week with Homegrown Learners, Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Our 4 Kiddos.

Well this week was fun :). It has been more hands on learning than book learning this week. And that's okay! We have done some book stuff like wrapping up units with our tests. It gives us a good place to start next week.

This week we had field trips, game building and co-op/park day too. The co-op day is today so that's a great way to end our week.

We tried out some candy corn science this week. I got the really cute printable below from this awesome site. She had some great experiments with that crazy candy. Do you like candy corn? I know my husband doesn't but I can do a little of it. Seems it's one of those things that either you love it or you hate it. So which is it for you?

We carved pumpkins this week too. Sadly, we have to wait till right before Halloween to do this here in the South. If you do it too early  you end up with a rotten pumpkin before Halloween even gets here. Here's our carvings. Boo Bear was super excited because this was his first year to carve it all by himself.

As you can see I'm not near as creative as my hubby. He does these things free hand and I am just blown away every year. His pumpkins are always awesome. I think Boo Bear also did awesome on his pumpkin. I was very impressed.

Our field trip this week was to a local pumpkin patch/corn maze. We had a blast! It wasn't too hot but it was still quite warm in the sun. We got to ride a hayride and feed the cows. Or throw the cow candy at them as some of the kids did. Those big giant faces and long slimy tongues coming at you can be quite scary. :)

We went through the corn maze, rode a huge slide, heard stories and got to have a great time out in the outdoors with our amazing homeschool group.

Finally, I got creative. Remember last week I mentioned needing a mom hobby? Something I could just kind of hide away and do and enjoy? Well I think I might have found one.

Last week I broke out the sewing machine and made a purse. I had a blast and I made another one this week. I'm hoping I can keep practicing and make gifts for Christmas. That would be awesome right? So here it is...

Oh and I think I  mentioned games in the title, right? Yep. Well I volunteered to head up the Trunk or Treat for our church this year. It's tomorrow. They haven't done one like this before so we have no idea how many kids will show up. When I say I volunteered, I mean I also volunteered my husband to do his building thing. Because you know he loves building right? And he's awesome at it! Here's a few of the games he built for the event.

It's sure to be a blast!!! (hopefully) So I gotta run make more games and get ready for co-op day. How was your week? Let me know in the comments below so I can come visit you too!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Countdown to 1000 Gifts

** Be sure to enter my giveaway going on right now**

Since I missed last week we will count two weeks this week ;).

21. My amazing homeschool group. This is a great group of homeschool families to surround yourself with and amazing friendships are being formed.

22. Pumpkin spice coffee.

23. Feeling better after cutting gluten out again. I know I should keep it that way but sometimes get sidetracked. Paleo is the way for me to go!

24. A great field trip day in the corn maze.

25. Cool fall mornings.

26. Quiet time in the morning.

27. Fall festivals

28. Learning I might have a crafty side buried in me somewhere.

29. Finishing a project I started

30. Laughing till I can't breathe with my family

31. Hearing my son read.

32. Trying new restaurants that were a hit with the whole family

33. Spending time doing nothing

34. Going to the movies with my boys

35. Laundry. Yes laundry. That means we have clothes to wear and I have the equipment to keep them clean

36. Dishes in my sink. Sometimes they may overload me but it means we have food on our table.

37. Fun times with my kiddo

38. Feeding the cows on our field trip

39. My job. Never had I ever thought I'd be writing for a living. God has amazingly blessed me more than I could ever imagine. I'm so thankful for the gift of staying home and working and homeschooling.

40. The end of the homeschool week. :) Some weeks you're just glad it's Friday. One more day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silicone Cupcake Molds Review

I love to cook, bake and experiment with new kitchen tools. I've seen the new silicone molds for muffin pans and the cupcake liners but never tried them. Until now. And I'm hooked!!!

 Recently I had the opportunity to try out the California Kitchenware silicone cupcake molds. They come 12 to a pack and run about $8.00. To me, they are totally worth it!!!

These vibrant little cupcake molds are awesome and easy to work with.

 They are food grade non-stick silicone and you do not have to use the muffin pan. You can bake these babies right on a cookie sheet and they still keep their shape. I used my muffin pan just simply because it was the one I grabbed out of the cabinet.

They are safe for the dishwasher, hand washing, freezer, microwave and up to a 500 degree oven. You can use these for so many wonderful ideas like muffins, cupcakes, meatloaf muffins and egg muffins for breakfast.

Simply choose your favorite "muffin" recipe and get to baking.

I was a little concerned because I have been told "non-stick" before and still had to spray it to keep it from sticking. These were not that case. When they say non-stick, they mean non-stick. The muffin popped out very easily and in one piece. 

Not much left in the cupcake mold at all...

And one of the best parts? Clean up was a snap! I hand washed mine simply because I was already washing and was curious as to how easy it was. They came clean with no problems and I've used them several times again. 

I highly recommend you checking this product out and seeing what great creations you can come up with. You can purchase them on Amazon and see other great reviews there as well. 

Have you used silicone molds before? 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Majestic By Kim Collingsworth Review and Giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, it helps to support my family and this blog. Thank you for stopping by and check out my full disclosure policy here.**

I love music. It flows through my veins, really. From the time I can remember, I have always been around music. Singing with my family or learning to play the piano. To say that music is a part of my household is almost an understatement.

Recently I got the chance to listen to some beautiful music with the Family Christian review opportunity of Kim Collingsworth's new CD, Majestic.

You might recognize Kim from the regular appearances on the Gaither Homecoming Tour and the Gaither Video Series. Those are some of my favorite series to watch as they sing so many of the older songs I grew up on. 

This CD contains a beautiful collection of instrumental praise songs, love songs and even a few Christmas and Patriotic songs thrown in the mix. This is a live recording and it is exciting and fun to listen to. 

It is refreshing to hear her and her family take notice of what her concert goers have said over the years and she strives to meet all of their suggestions, requests and recommendations in this new album. You can hear songs such as :

  • How Majestic is Thy Name
  • Once Upon a Dream
  • God Bless America
  • Carol of the Bells (one of my all time faves!) 
  • God Bless America 
  • And many more!
She has won many awards for her instrumental music and that includes the Instrumentalist of the Year.

Guest appearances on the album include Stan Whitmire, Tim Parton and her entire family. 

This CD is definitely one that is fun to listen to while you are working, relaxing at home or, if you're like me, you just want music playing in the background. It is fun listening to the stories she shares and how excited the audience is. It almost feels like you're right there in the audience with them. 

I suggest you check this CD out if you love to listen to music and instrumentals are your favorite. 

Family Christian Bookstore  has so graciously given me the opportunity to give a copy of this CD to you! How awesome! So be sure to enter the giveaway below and tell your friends about it too! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekly Review - The One With Great Weather and A Homemade Car...

It's finally Friday! Wahoo! Is it just me or has this week been kind of long? It's been a crazy wild up and down week but that's okay. ;-) God has taught me some lessons this week that maybe I'll share in another post. But for now, I'm going to share what awesomeness we did in school and out of school this week.

We worked on our multiplication tables again. We are still committing those to memory and working hard to figure them out. He has the concept and is catching on great. I never thought he was really a flash card kind of kid, but he is. He loves to do those so that is helping him to learn the tables.

He likes to get up and walk around while we are quizzing on these. I love that he can do that. Try that in a public school and you get in trouble for being disruptive ;). Here it's just his way of his mind working with his body.

We are reading aloud the first in the Shark Wars series. He's loving it and I'm kind of getting into it as well. We have book two waiting on us here from the library so we need to finish this one up and move on to the next one. What are you guys currently reading?

He had his last day of this months science class yesterday. He loved this one! It was Simple Machines and yesterday he came home with a car they made. It was constructed out of lids from bottles, straws, cereal box and a balloon. You blow up the balloon, put the car down and it goes on it's own. It's pretty neat!

Next month is weather so I'm excited to see what they will be doing.

We had some amazingly wonderful weather this week. It's been in the 50's when we get up and quite windy in the afternoon so it's still nice to hang out. So that's what we did. We busted out the sidewalk chalk.

He is becoming quite a good little artist. He soooo takes that after daddy. Not me in any way, shape, form or fashion.

We walked the trail at the park where his science class was. They have some really neat looking sculptures.

We hit the swings. I love to swing. Always have and I'm still waiting for my swing my hubby's going to build me here at the house. It's so relaxing and refreshing. 

We sat pondering our thoughts. Ok, maybe he was just sitting that way because I said hey! Let me take your picture on that bench :). It can't always be spontaneous, right?

And I brought out my sewing machine. I realized last weekend how much I'm in need of a hobby of some sort. I mean seriously. I don't have an outlet to put my spare time into or to relax with. I read but don't always have a good book around. I haven't really gotten into scrapbooking but the ladies at my church are encouraging me to. I need something that I can do to burn off stress, steam and just enjoy myself with. So I'm considering sewing projects. My mom is a quilter so this excites her to no end ;-) So we shall see. For now I'm sewing up these cute little bean bags for the trunk or treat I'm heading up at my church. 

Do you have a Mom hobby you can let yourself go with? What do you like to do for relaxation and destressifying (not sure if that's a word but it is today.)?